Beth was the owner and artistic director of Grand River Academy of Dance for 14 years. She began her dance career locally under the direction of Cora Black before going to university to study dance. She attended both the Ryerson & York university dance programs while teaching at studios in and around Toronto. After university she became a Ballet Mistress and received her Royal Academy of Dance teaching certification. In addition to being a teaching member of the RAD she also is a member of the CDTA and IDTA. "Miss Beth" over the years has enjoyed watching her students grow into confident and dedicated adults who have gone on to have successful careers in dance and the professional world.
Melanie is thrilled to be back teaching at The Dance Centre after living abroad in Germany the past year and a half. Mel started dancing and performing at the age of four having trained and competed in a variety of styles including: jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, musical theatre, hip hop and modern. Her love for dance was extended to ballroom as an early teenager joining the Transylvania Club Dance Group with whom she performed with for seven years. Her experience with ballroom dance has allowed her to perform throughout North America and Europe. She also has over eight years’ experience as a dance teacher both recreational and competitive. In 2013 Melanie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph. Mel is excited to help her students discover and grow with their love of dance!
Marianne is the office manager at The Dance Centre, and is happy to answer your questions and help you in any way she can at the studio. Outside the studio, Marianne works as a writer. She is the author of three novels and a poetry book. Marianne won the 2006 Canadian Aid Literary Award for her book, Tending Memory. You can find out more about her writing by visiting her website.
Alanna has danced all her life enjoying jazz, modern, tap and mostly acro-gymnastics. She was involved in many competitions in both group and solo dances, as well as competing in the London Western Fair. She has been trained by some graduates from Cirque du Soleil in Montreal and enjoys aerial hoop and tissue dancing. She has also taken a week summer dance course at George Brown College in Toronto. Alanna completed her acro-gymnastics examinations and is a certified Acro-gymnastics instructor through the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD). She started teaching acro-gymnastics and other basic types at 16 years of age and has continued since. Alanna has also been involved in years of gymnastics training and has also taught gymnastics to toddlers and younger children in summer classes. TDC is excited to have Alanna as our acro teacher!
Marjorie Hopkins - PhD, TCRG pt 2, TMRF pt 3
Marjorie has been dancing for as long as she has been walking. Her first dance experiences were twirling in the living room, which eventually led to her first Irish dance class at the age of 7. Over the years, Marjorie has taken Irish, Highland, jazz, tap, and ballet. She is starting her fourth year at TDC teaching Irish technique classes. Marjorie is currently a PhD candidate in the history department at the University of Guelph. She is also working towards completing her TCRG and TMRF with WIDA and has only three exams remaining. She loves Irish dance and the opportunity to share that passion with students at TDC as they refine their own skills and technique. The Dance Centre is delighted to have Marjorie on our staff!
Joanne started dancing at age 3 in England and is trained in ballet, jazz, tap and Irish. She enjoyed success as a competitive dancer in both solo and group routines in various dance forms and attained the RAD ballet exams up to intermediate level. As a performer, she danced in many local theatre and university musical productions. She continued her love of dance when she moved to Canada 15 years ago resuming her ballet and jazz training at local dance studios. Joanne's most recent dance training and passion is Irish. She is in her 7th year training with SSDC and is excited to have the opportunity to share her love of dance with all her students. Joanne has started the process of taking Irish dance grade exams with the World Irish Dance Association, with plans to become a certified instructor with WIDA once she completes all her exams. Joanne's chosen career is physiotherapy and she is currently working as a hospital based physiotherapist. TDC is thrilled to have Joanne on our teaching staff instructing both recreational and competitive students!
Michelle has trained in many types of dance, starting in ballet, and then moving on to take jazz and Irish dance. She continued her love of dance while attending Brock University taking jazz, Irish, street jazz, hip hop, ballroom and Latin. During her second year at Brock University, Michelle took over teaching the Irish dance classes for Brock Dance and continued to do so until she graduated. In 2007 Michelle won the "Outstanding Teacher" award for Brock Dance. Upon her return to TDC after University, she performed and competed with Celtic Dynamic for a number of years before moving into her teaching role at the studio. She recently started her Irish dance grade exams with the World Irish Dance Association and has successfully completed Grades 1 through 6 and is working towards becoming a fully certified instructor with WIDA. We are delighted at TDC to have Michelle as an Irish Dance Instructor.
Kristen has trained in Irish and jazz dance at local studios, SSDC and with Irish Dance Schools. She has been teaching all levels of Irish dance, recreational and competitive, as well as pre-dance classes in jazz and ballet for nine years. Kristen recently sat for and passed the first part of her teacher's exams with the World Irish Dance Association (WIDA). Her competitive routines have won many overall awards and special awards, and her creative choreography has earned her judges choice awards. During her time as an amateur dancer she worked as a class assistant, and performed and competed with SSDC's company, Celtic Dynamic. She has performed throughout the Kitchener-Waterloo area for many St. Patrick's Day events and summer festivals. A highlight for Kristen has been dancing a full-length duet on the interview segment of CKCO News and Noon. She is a graduate of Mohawk Collage for advertising and continues to take professional dance workshops. The Dance Centre is proud to have Kristen on our teaching staff.
Corinne is trained in many facets of dance from ballet, jazz and tap to modern, lyrical and musical theatre. She is also an experienced dance teacher having taught for over 16 years, both at the recreational and competitive levels. In 2010 Corinne successfully sat for her jazz and tap exams and is now a certified instructor with the Dance Masters of Canada. For three years Corinne was the coach of the Dance Crew at Monsignor Doyle CSS in Cambridge, where she led high school students through hip hop, jazz, musical theatre and liturgical dance choreographies. As a dancer Corinne took exams in ballet, jazz and tap, achieving advanced levels in each form. She was also a competitive dancer for many years in both group and solo routines. Corinne attended the University of Waterloo where she obtained her BA, and from there she went on to teacher's college. She is currently working as a teacher for the Catholic school board. TDC is excited to have Corinne on our staff.
Samantha has been dancing since age 3 and has been teaching children and adults for over 15 years. She studied dance and its history at Eastwood Collegiate, the University of Waterloo, and through the 4 year Dance Masters of America (DMA) Teachers Training School at the University of Buffalo. After completing the DMA programme, Samantha took her exams in jazz and tap and is a certified instructor with the century old organization. She is also a jazz and tap examiner and examines teachers wishing to become certified. In November 2012 Samantha successfully passed exams to obtain her part 1 and 2 of her TCRG (certified teaching certificate) with the World Irish Dance Association (WIDA). As of July 2016 Samantha is also a certified Acro Dance teacher with Acrobatic Arts. She attended their teacher training programme and completed her exams successfully attaining her ACC1 qualification. She has performed and competed across North America, winning many regional and national awards. Samantha danced with the “First Generation Dancers” Irish dance troupe for four years where she performed at festivals across Ontario such as Goderich’s Celtic Roots, Toronto’s Harbourfront and Hamilton’s Earthsong. She has organized and directed many dance shows, and her choreography has been featured several times on local, provincial and national television. Samantha has also performed on Breakfast TV. In 2007/2008 Samantha choreographed Rockway Mennonite’s sold-out production of High School Musical. She has also choreographed and/or performed for several artists including The Spirit of the West, The Irish Descendants, Ken Brown, Pierre Schreyer, Failte, The Marcell School of Drum, The K-W Symphony, The Millennium Orchestra and Choir, the Community Connection Choir and for euro dance singer Tânia Costa of Azuria. Samantha believes dance class should be fun and at the same time provide a strong technical base. She’s happy to answer any of your questions.